Tanzania: Five Issues 'Sugu' Takes to Parliament From Prison

Chadema's Mbeya Urban MP Joseph 'Sagu' Mbilinyi.

Mbeya — Mbeya Urban Member of Parliament Joseph Mbilinyi, popularly known as Sugu, (Chadema) is expected to attend the ongoing parliamentary budget sittings in Dodoma on Monday, May 21, after being released from the Ruanda Prison.

Mr Sugu and his colleague, party's Nyasa Zone secretary, Mr Emmanuel Masonga were on February 26, this year, sentenced to five-month jail term by the Mbeya District Resident's Magistrate Court.

They were found guilty of uttering disgraceful statements against President John Magufuli during a political rally held at Mwenge Primary School grounds on December 30, 2017.

In a series of interviews with The Citizen sister paper Mwananchi, Mr Sugu said he had five issues he regarded as "top secret" from the prison that he would table at the parliament.

Prisoners' rights

The Mbeya Urban legislator said he would raise his voice at the parliament over poor standard of life the prisoners lead, which include wanting shelter, food, clothing and medical treatment.

Prison officers

According to him, the warders were grappling with life hardship, which has forced them to engage in informal businesses to make ends meet.

"Others have employed themselves as Bodaboda riders, which they practice after work. I know the officers by names," he said.

Judicial challenges

Mr Sugu said there were a lot of people who have spent many years in prison after their cases lacked evidence, thus making it difficult for the court to hear and make ruling.

The lawmaker, who is among the Bongo Flavour founders, claimed that others have spent many years in prison due to delay of copies of judgement and case procedures.

"These copies are determinants of whether they appeal or not, therefore their delay denies the convicts their right to appeal on time, something which increases the challenge of congestion in various prisons," he noted.


He claimed that some police officers were not properly and professionally discharging their investigation duties, adding that there were a number of people serving jail terms after the former forged evidence.

"Some police officers are not investigating cases to establish the truth, rather they strive to ensure that someone is behind bars," he said.

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